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American Airlines v. Ulen

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
186 F.2d 529 (1949)


Violet Ulen was a passenger on an American Airlines (defendant) plane that crashed. Ulen was seriously injured and partially disabled as a result of the crash. Ulen and her husband (plaintiffs) sued American Airlines for negligence. In their complaints, the plaintiffs alleged that Ulen’s injuries resulted directly from American Airlines’ carelessness in planning, approving, and executing the flight plan. In its answers, American Airlines admitted the facts alleged in the complaints, but denied that it was negligent. Thereafter, the plaintiffs served American Airlines with a number of interrogatories. American Airlines’ answers to the interrogatories revealed that it violated Civil Air Regulation No. 61.7401. The plaintiffs then moved for summary judgment, asserting that the pleadings together with American Airlines’ answers to the interrogatories demonstrated that there was no genuine issue as to any material fact except damages. The court granted the plaintiffs’ motions for summary judgment, and the jury subsequently awarded Ulen and her husband monetary damages. American Airlines appealed on the grounds that the plaintiffs were not entitled to summary judgment because the pleadings raised genuine issues as to material facts that could only be determined by a trial on the merits.

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